Israel Forever

For the week ending 8 May 2004 / 17 Iyyar 5764

Can a Holiday be Any Day?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

When one reflects on the many holidays in the Jewish calendar mentioned in this weeks Torah portion, it is impossible not to compare the dates given for them and the dates which apply to secular "holidays".

Most of the American holidays have already been moved from their original dates to Monday so that there will be a "long weekend". Even in Israel we saw last month how the 5th of Iyar Independence Day was moved to a day later.

Such adjustments can be made when the purpose of the holiday is to commemorate an historical event which is celebrated with special football games or barbecues. The Torah holidays are for the purpose of reliving historical experiences, not merely remembering them. Reliving is possible only through the Divine formula of sacrifices, prayers and mitzvot which observant Jews have utilized throughout the centuries to connect with their past.

It is such spiritual contact with the past which guarantees the future of Israel forever.

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